Wool carpets improve air quality

RESEARCH | Science shows wool carpets may continue purifying the air for up to 30 years, improving the health and comfort of your indoor space.

How does wool clean the air?

Research by AgResearch scientists has revealed wool carpets significantly improve indoor air quality by rapidly absorbing the common pollutants formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

Not only does wool neutralise these contaminants more quickly and completely than synthetic carpet fibres, wool does not re-emit them, even when heated. Wool carpet may continue purifying the air for up to 30 years.

Absorption of air contaminants by wool

A comparison of different fibres found wool has better absorption than nylon, and that polyester has the least absorption. Wool carpet was found to reduce high levels (300 parts per million) of formaldehyde to virtually zero in four hours, whereas absorption was slower and less complete with nylon carpet.

A low level of formaldehyde (5 parts per million) was reduced to near zero in 30 minutes by wool carpet, whereas even after an hour, nylon carpet had absorbed only 50%.

What is Sick Building Syndrome?

Indoor air pollution is the primary cause of Sick Building Syndrome and the associated discomfort, ill health and reduced productivity. Indoor air quality is a public health concern that is receiving increasing attention, in part, because people are spending a higher proportion of their time indoors. The problem is exacerbated by the tendency for new buildings to have air conditioning, which traps the pollutants inside.

Combining an ability to actively buffer moisture changes in the indoor environment, wool carpets provide a natural means of improving and maintaining indoor air quality.